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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (AM), 97-08-30

Cyprus News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <http://www.cyna.org.cy>


CONTENTS

  • [01] Cyprus police thwart plan to dump nuclear waste off Cyprus coast
  • [02] Environmentalists protest over Greenpeace activists facing trial

  • 1100:CYPPRESS:02

    [01] Cyprus police thwart plan to dump nuclear waste off Cyprus coast

    Nicosia, Aug 30 (CNA) -- Cyprus police scuttled yesterday a plan to dump nuclear waste off the island's coast after being tipped off on the illegal movement of the lethal cargo from a former Soviet Republic.

    Police arrested four men, three Arabs and a Yugoslav, in connection with a conspiracy to ferry the waste on a tanker to the Mediterranean.

    The names of the suspects have not been released by police.

    According to a police statement, police have reliable information that a group of foreigners who recently visited Cyprus, conspired with others on the island and abroad for the purpose of illegally transferring the waste from a former Soviet republic.

    The police statement said the cargo was intended to be dumped off the coast of Cyprus or of another Mediterranean country.

    The statement added that police are in constant contact with Interpol as the investigation into the affair continues.

    CNA MH/MCH/1997
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1420:CYPPRESS:02

    [02] Environmentalists protest over Greenpeace activists facing trial

    Nicosia, Aug 30 (CNA) -- Dozens of Cypriot environmentalists protested today in downtown Nicosia over the expected trial of eight Greenpeace activists charged last month after holding a demonstration outside the Environment Ministry.

    "We as Greenpeace believe that it's outrageous for the eight activists of Greenpeace to be tried because the protest that was made outside the Ministry of the Environment was symbolic and was peaceful," spokesperson for the international environmentalist organisation, Irini Constantinou told CNA.

    The eight Greenpeace activists, six men and two women, were charged for chaining themselves to the gates of the Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environment Ministry on July 10 to protest development in the environmentally sensitive region of Akamas.

    They were released on bond after being charged and are presently in Cyprus awaiting trial due next Wednesday.

    Akamas, located on the northwestern part of the island, is home to rare, indigenous flora and fauna, including the threatened Mediterranean Green Turtle.

    Constantinou said the activists' arrest was unwarranted because they did not break any laws. Their action, she said "was symbolic, there were other three entrances for the Ministry, so they didn't close the Ministry".

    She added a petition was submitted by Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on the Environment, Demetris Eliades, to Attorney-General Alecos Markides to drop the charges against the activists. Eliades also took part in today's demonstration.

    According to Constantinou, the Attorney-General will decide on Monday whether the trial will go ahead.

    "We have to bear in mind that illegalities in Akamas are going on everyday and the people that are involved do not get arrested, do not go on trial. Why should we have on trial people who are concerned for the environment?" Constantinou added.

    Protesters unfurled a huge banner in Eleftheria Square saying "Cut the Promises, Save Akamas" and waved placards saying "The Environment cannot be imprisoned" and "No More Promises, Save Akamas", while others distributed leaflets to passers-by.

    The leaflets listed a number of what it called illegal developments and actions which have caused irrevocable damage to the Akamas and for which no one has been punished.

    Environmentalist Movement President George Perdikis told CNA that despite the Greenpeace activists' arrest, the problem which caused the July protest at the Environment Ministry remains.

    "There is indecision on the part of the government and laws are not being enforced which leads to the total destruction of Akamas," Perdikis said.

    Independent Deputy Marios Matsakis also told CNA the arrests were "a very wrong move" because it will have "negative effects on the environmental movement in Cyprus and on the image of Cyprus internationally".

    CNA MH/MCH/1997
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    CNA ENDS
    Cyprus News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article
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